Katherine Inglis, ‘Ophthalmoscopy in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette’

In JVC 15.3, Katherine Inglis re-examines the representation of scopic conflict and discipline in Charlotte Brontë’s novel, Villette (1853), within the context of the reconfiguration of the eye during the 1850s. Villette is pioneering in its representation of an ophthalmoscopic conception of the eye, as an organ which could be looked into by medical practitioners as well as looked at. This notion of the eye was only possible after Hermann von Helmholtz’s invention of the ophthalmoscope in 1850. Villette is

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Phyllis Weliver, ‘Oscar Wilde, Music, and the “Opium-Tainted Cigarette”: Disinterested Dandies and Critical Play’

In her recent article in JVC 15.3, Phyllis Weliver reveals how the dandy’s languorous posture, aesthetic writing style, opium smoking, and musical repertoire interact in Oscar Wilde’s literature and criticism. Examining The Picture of Dorian Gray as well as ‘The Critic as Artist’ and The Importance of Being Earnest draws into focus how each of Wilde’s works is organized to create complicated relationships among this grouping, all of which belong to dandyish characters. The essay begins with a discussion of

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Vicky Morrisroe, “‘Eastern History with Western Eyes’: E. A. Freeman, Islam and Orientalism’

In her forthcoming article  in JVC issue 16.1, Vicky Morrisroe explores representations of Islam in the work of the Victorian historian E.A. Freeman. Freeman’s two obscure Oriental volumes emphasize the evils and barbarism of Muslim societies to demonstrate that Britain’s support of the Ottoman Empire was misguided. This article foregrounds Freeman’s fear of the threat posed to Euro-Christendom by Islam and suggests that he was not, as is often assumed, a confident proponent of Western progress. In so doing, it

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Diarmid Finnegan, ‘Exeter-Hall Science and Evangelical Rhetoric in mid-Victorian London’

In his article forthcoming in JVC issue 16.1, Diarmid Finnegan explores the ways in which science was mobilized in an immensely popular series of lectures held in London’s Exeter Hall and organized by the fledgling Young Men’s Christian Association. As well as offering a fresh look at the relations between evangelicalism and science in the mid-Victorian period, the article recovers the significance attached to platform culture by evangelicals concerned about the declining influence of the pulpit. Redeeming the much-maligned Exeter

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Ellen Ross, ‘Missionaries and Jews in Soho: “Strangers within Our Gates”‘

In JVC 15.2, Ellen Ross explores evidence about everyday life and social practices in Soho to reconstruct the extent and mode of religious conflict in a neighbourhood which historians have seen as an area of relative religious tolerance. It focuses on a weekly children’s prayer meeting conducted by Methodist missionaries in the summer of 1900 at the epicentre of the Soho Jewish community. For the Jews the meeting was an intrusion but nonetheless epitomized the tacit negotiations between Soho Jews

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New Agenda – Katharina Boehm and Josephine McDonagh, ‘Urban Mobility: New Maps of Victorian London’

‘The Uncommercial Traveller, whose urban explorations by foot, coach and train lead him from genteel Bond Street to the muddy thoroughfares of the East End, and from London’s ‘shy neighbourhoods’ to the docks by the Thames, reminds us of the mobility of Victorian city dwellers. Like Dickens’s compulsive traveller, countless fictional and historical Londoners experienced the city and its material cultures on the move.’  Introducing the New Agenda on ‘Urban Mobility’, Katharina Boehm and Josephine McDonagh survey the scholarship on the

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New Agenda – Fragments of the Modern City: Material Culture and the Rhythms of Everyday Life in Victorian London

Lining the shelves of a Museum of London warehouse are thousands of boxes of the broken and fragmented belongings of Victorian Londoners. In JVC 15.2 Alastair Owens, Nigel Jeffries, Karen Wehner and Rupert Featherby consider how such evidence can contribute to our understanding of the social and cultural worlds of Victorian Londoners. Does it allow us to grasp the ‘actualities’ of life in the modern metropolis, obscured by a pervasive bourgeois gaze that saturates other historical sources? This article is

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New Agenda – John Stokes, ‘”Encabsulation”: Horse-Drawn Journeys in Late-Victorian Literature’

In 1900 there were some 50,000 horses working in London, although by 1914 with the coming of motorized transport that number was down to 1,400. Focusing on one of the primary ways that Victorians moved around London, John Stokes examines the perils and social niceties of hailing a horse-drawn cab in the nineteenth-century city. Click here for John Leech’s cartoons for Punch on the hazards of taking a cab (and on many other topics) To read the full article, visit

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Digital Forum: Processing the Past

In JVC 15.2., the three contributors to this Digital Forum discuss the exciting new opportunities for quantitative research.  Richard Deswarte focuses on the holdings of the History Data Service and considers what makes a useful quantitative data source.  Alexis Weedon assesses the production of resources suitable for quantitative research and the use of geographical information to argue for greater convergence between types of data.  Michaela Mahlberg offers an introduction to corpus linguistics, exploring what corpus approaches can offer existing research

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Book Reviews (15.2)

Malcolm Chase on G. W. M. Reynolds: Nineteenth-Century Fiction, Politics, and the Press, edited by Anne Humpherys and Louis James (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2008). To read the full review, visit http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=2&spage=299 David Richter on Rebecca Stern’s Home Economics: Domestic Fraud in Victorian England (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2008). To read the full review, visit http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=2&spage=303. Talia Schaffer on John Plotz’s Portable Property: Victorian Culture on the Move (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2008). To read the full review, visit http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1355%2d5502&volume=15&issue=2&spage=307.

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